The Finnell Firm

What is the NPBD and how can it help my case?

The National Practitioner Data Bank is a database maintained by the federal government which records important information about doctors and other medical professionals. Specifically, the database serves as a kind of "rap sheet" for doctors, recording any disciplinary actions against them, whether imposed by the state licensing board, by Medicare or Medicaid or even by a hospital which chooses to revoke or suspend the doctor's privileges to place patients there. The database even includes records of paid medical malpractice claims.

Generally speaking, the NPBD is reserved for the use of others in the medical community and is not available to the public. However, in certain circumstances, a victim injured by medical malpractice in Georgia can use information in the NPBD.

Be aware of these common types of medical malpractice

When you go to the doctor or hospital, you are putting a significant amount of trust in medical professionals. You expect them to be able to correctly diagnose you and administer the treatment you need. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Doctors can make mistakes just as easily as someone else. The difference is, when a doctor makes an error, either due to negligence or recklessness, it can have devastating consequences.

One of the ways that you guard against medical malpractice is to be aware of where you are most at risk. Questioning your doctor about procedures and treatment and even seeking out a second opinion can go a long way to help you avoid becoming a victim. Here are some of the most common types of medical malpractice.

Red light cameras a possible tool after a Georgia accident

While there is some controversy about the topic throughout the country, red light cameras are permitted in Georgia.

Many motorists in Northern Georgia have probably seen these devices at intersections. Basically, they are designed to detect when a motorist was in the intersection on a red light and snap a photo of the vehicle and the license plate. Officers will then mail a ticket to the alleged offender, although the penalties are not as harsh as they would be for those whom a live person catches running the red light.

Work accidents cost billions every year

According to current statistics, accidental injuries at work cost over $150 billion every year. Of these expenses, $49.5 billion are attributed to lost wages and lost productive time, while an additional $33.8 billion represents medical costs associated with treating workplace illnesses and accidents. The remaining costs are associated with administrative expenses.

Interestingly, in terms of injuries, the list of most dangerous occupations include some surprises. For example, janitors and those who clean for a living were in the third most dangerous occupation, ranking behind factory workers and truck drivers. Likewise, CNAs and other nursing assistants were ranked the fourth most dangerous occupation when it comes to injuries.

Drunk driving an issue in Georgia over Labor Day

According to one report, drunk driving is an area of particular concern over the Labor Day weekend, particularly in this state.

The report ranked Georgia as among the worst states when it comes to fatalities related to drunk driving over the course of this holiday, a time where many residents of Northern Georgia will have the opportunity to celebrate the end of summer.

Poor driving habits are a cross-generational problem

According to a recent study, while Millennial drivers seem to be particularly prone to distracted driving, the issue actually infects all generations of motorists.

For instance, among Millennials, over 85% said that they had talked on their phones while driving. Likewise, over half, 53%, said that they engaged in texting and driving, and about one-third said that they had looked at social media behind the wheel. Millennials are those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s.

Xarelto and similar drugs could lead to massive bleeding

Xarelto is a medication that is used to thin the blood. Generically known as rivaroxaban, it's a medication most prescribed to prevent blood clots due to irregular heartbeats. It may also be prescribed for patients who have been through knee or hip-replacement surgery.

This medication may be used to help treat blood clots that have already formed, such as those involved in deep-vein thrombosis and to help prevent them from returning. Overall, this anticoagulent stops clotting by blocking proteins in the blood.

Overview of how the FDA classifies recalls

Previous posts here have discussed how the United States Food and Drug Administration regulates both medications and medical devices that are on the American market. While the FDA ideally weeds out dangerous products during its approval process, the process does not, and really cannot, stop all unsafe drugs and other medical devices from hitting the shelves. As a result, like other agencies committed to the safety of consumer products, the FDA from time to time issues recalls or, more properly speaking, persuades a manufacturer to voluntarily recall a product.

The best advice to someone who has a recalled drug or device is to follow the manufacturer's instructions. However, it is important for patients in Northern Georgia to pay careful attention to how the FDA classifies its recalls. This information may be helpful to an injured patient when deciding whether to file a medical product liability case down the road.

Rash of deadly e-scooter accidents plaguing Atlanta

Atlanta recently joined major cities across the United States in allowing e-scooter companies to place their equipment in certain parts of the city. Many people in Northern Georgia may be familiar with this latest trend in transportation, in which a pedestrian can get a fast and convenient ride simply by picking up an electronic scooter, paying for it and taking it to his or her destination and then leaving it for the next rider.

However, many people have criticized electronic scooters as a potentially dangerous form of transportation. To this point, Georgia's largest city has experienced three scooter-related fatalities in the last few months. These tragedies, however, may ultimately not be the fault of either the scooter companies or their patrons. All of these tragedies involved motor vehicle accidents between a person on a scooter and a full-sized vehicle.

What happens if your disability is permanent?

A previous post here discussed how an injured worker in Georgia can get temporary disability benefits after a work-related illness or injury. As that post discussed, these benefits are there to replace a portion of an injured worker's lost wages while recovering.

Unfortunately, there are some work-related injuries from which an employee will likely never recover. In some cases, this means that the employee is permanently disabled and no longer capable of working at all. In other situations, a person may be able to work, but may not be able to hold a job at the same paygrade, or work the same amount of hours, as prior to the injury or illness.

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